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Crazy for Ewe
  • Noro - perfectly imperfect
  • Ellen Lewis
  • EventsNoroYarn colored glasses
Noro - perfectly imperfect

In case you haven't seen the posts on Facebook and Instagram, it's Noro time.  If you're a Noro addict, as I am, you'll want to sign up for the Noro Party we're doing October First Friday.  We'll have Gilda Ongkeko, a California Noro rep, here with all the cool Noro stuff that usually only yarn store owners get to see.  She'll have samples and games and prizes, and all kinds of fun.  I have a big basket off Noro Yarn to give away, and Gilda has at least one set of Lykke Interchangeable Needles to give away.  It's a fabulous evening of food, fiber and fun, but space is limited, so sign up if you want to be there!

People ask me all the time why I like Noro so much.  It's kind of complicated because there are so many reasons.  First, I love the whole aesthetic.  I love how it's so perfectly imperfect.  The spin is not always even, and there are sometimes bits of vegetative matter in the yarn, and yes, there is sometimes a knot in the yarn, and the new piece is not even close what it should be in the colorway.  But it's still beautiful.  I love that.  It's reassuring to know that we don't have to be perfect to be beautiful and worthy of love. 

When you start looking at all these "imperfections" in Noro yarns, it helps to understand that Noro's aim is to stay close to nature.  When you look at Kureyon, you're supposed to be able to tell that it's wool.  It's meant to have a bit of an earthy quality and display some of the natural crimp that makes wools such a wonderful fiber.  You can see bits of raw silk fiber in Silk Garden, and you can recognize the matte beauty of a cotton bol in Mirai and Taiyo.  These fibers look like what they are.  They're not over processed into something uniform.  Noro fibers are interesting and still hold the energy of the living plants and animals from which they're spun. 

For me the tendency of Noro yarns to have bits of this and that in them is especially endearing because those bits show how carefully Noro yarns are processed.  Rather than having their fibers scoured with environmentally devastating chemicals to dissolve every speck of whatever, Noro yarns are hand cleaned. Noro uses Australia's Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) to ensure it.  So, I might have to pick out a tiny piece of hay from my yarn, but that's a tradeoff I'm willing to make.  

But what about those knots?  You're knitting along admiring the beautiful vein of purple in the Kureyon, and all of a sudden there's a lime green strand tied to where purple should be.  Frustrating? Of course, but wishing there weren't a knot is decidedly unhelpful.  But you know, a knot in your Noro is a lot like life.  You work, you plan, and you have things all set until something out of the blue (or purple) totally derails your plans.  Stuff happens, and you can't exactly rip out and start life all over again.  You have to accept that there's been a major shift, and work around it as best you can.  It's hard and it's frustrating, but it's okay.  It will all be okay.  Because obviously, your plan was not THE plan.  The universe has something else in store for you, and what seems to be the end of the world actually opens up a whole new realm of possibilities that you never even imagined -- beautiful and happy possibilities.  As you contemplate that knot in the yarn, you could certainly cut your Kureyon to where the purple begins, but you might discover that lime green is a beautiful happy accident and you like it even more than the purple. 

I look forward to seeing you at the Noro Party, or in the shop and around the table.  You are always welcome here.

~Ellen 

Back to 18 September 2018 Newsletter

  • Ellen Lewis
  • EventsNoroYarn colored glasses

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